After successful implementation, the OSRAM Off-Grid Lighting project started independent operation in 2016.
Approximately 1.3 billion people in the world have no access to a permanent power supply and rely on light sources which are operated with fossil fuels, mainly petroleum.
OSRAM recognized this problem early on, so in 2008 it started a project on Lake Victoria in Kenya to deliver efficient lighting in off-grid areas – which has been unique in the world at that time. At specially constructed solar-powered energy stations the local inhabitants can rent and recharge batteries for energy-saving lamps, luminaires and other electrical appliances such as cell phones at low cost and without damaging the environment. The project also focused on other important topics – such as the purification of drinking water and access to modern information and communication technology. Access to computers, the internet and cell phone charging stations connects rural areas to centers around the world.
Following a pilot phase with three energy stations – the O-HUBs – the project was expanded extensively through the construction of five further energy stations – the WE!Hubs.
Construction of all eight energy stations was successfully completed in fiscal 2015 in collaboration with the project partners. OSRAM has provided the technical solutions for off-grid lighting. The WE!Hubs in Kenya are operated by the local Kenyan cooperation partner, Thames Electricals Ltd. and its subsidiary Light for Life Ltd., independently in the form of a social enterprise.
The achieved results have provided the conditions to make a sustainable contribution to supplying the population of Kenya with clean and efficient light sources, purified drinking water and modern information and communication technology.